There is positive news of a co-operative unity regarding junior hockey in Flint.
Michigan Warriors of the North American Hockey League and Flint Jr. Generals of the North American 3 Hockey League will both be operated by Firland Management effective the 2013-2014 season.
Firland, which is a Maine-based company, already manages both the Perani Arena and Event Centre (home of the NAHL Warriors) and Iceland Arena (home of the NA3HL Jr. Generals) in Flint.
Firland began managing the business side of the Warriors prior to the start of the 2012-2013 season and the NAHL team saw a marked increase in game attendance and corporate sponsorship under the arrangement and with Jeremy Torrey as director of sales and marketing.
Jim Cain, president of Firland Management, said his company's arrangement with the NA3HL Jr. Generals will be similar to the one it has with the NAHL Warriors.
Cain added that founder Gale M. Cronk and his son Kelly Cronk will continue as owners of the Jr. Generals for the 2013-2014 season "but that Firland will manage the team on their behalf."
The Cronks have put the Jr. Generals up for sale and Cain said he will work with the father-son ownership duo "to find a buyer that will keep the team in Flint. Gale and Kelly have been involved with the Jr. Generals for a long time now and they would like to move on."
Cain said that Firland "might be involved" in the possible purchase of the Jr. Generals.
The NAHL Warriors and the NA3HL Jr. Generals have not had a close relationship in the past but Cain said he sees that changing with Firland now managing both teams and the rinks they play in as a combined force and united action.
"The goal of this exercise is to form a synergy between the Warriors and the Jr. Generals and to maintain an NAHL team and an NA3HL team in Flint in a co-operative venture," Cain said evenly.
Of note, the Jr. Generals have changed their long-time colours from blue-gold-white to a blue-red-white scheme that is very similar to what the Warriors wear. The Jr. Generals have also unveiled a new logo, which is displayed here.
In addition, Firland employee Jon Jepson, who is an assistant coach with the NAHL Warriors, will also handle general manager duties with the NA3HL Jr. Generals. Jepson has also served as manager of Iceland Arena.
As Jepson will now be involved with both teams, Moe Mantha will return for his fourth season as coach-general manager and part owner of the NAHL Warriors and Steve Howard will be back behind the bench for his second term with the NA3HL Jr. Generals in 2013-2014.